The Egyptian affiliate of Islamic state, who call themselves Sinai Province, has claimed to have beheaded a hostage in Egypt. The reported victim, Croatian Tomislav Salopek, was an oil and gas surveyor who was kidnapped in Cairo in July. The killing of 30 year old Salopek, who has a wife and two children in Croatia, would mark the first time a foreign hostage has been killed in Egypt.
IS has claimed that the killing of the Croatian national came due to “his country’s participation in the war against the Islamic State”. It has been widely reported in Egypt that Croatia is backing the Kurds, a group that is actively against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The killing also came after the passing of a deadline, in which IS demanded that imprisoned Islamic women should be freed in exchange for his life.
Talking to Associated Press, the sister of one of the detained detained women, Doaa el-Taweel, states that her sister is against the killing of hostages in exchange for her freedom, saying “She rejected that the life of an innocent man who is not responsible for other detainees be negotiated,”.
This action has also brought condemnation from Al Azhar, the leading Sunni Muslim institute, who described the alleged killing as a “demonic act of which all religions and human traditions are innocent.”The killing, if proved to be true, would strike a huge blow for the hopeful tourism sector in Egypt. It also throws the efforts of current president, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, to curb the effects of extremism, following the uprising in 2011. Last week, Mr Al-Sisi opened a new section of the Suez Canal in an attempt to persuade foreign diplomats to the country, emphasising security and safety during the ceremony.
In his hometown, Mr Salopek was described as a “friendly young man”, and his alleged death has been met with sadness and disbelief.